Dear Earth

We earthlings allocated 24 hours to think about you (yesterday) – a sort of birthday celebration mixed with considerations of all the things we have done or left undone as your caretakers

for eart hday 2018 - ornamental fruit tree blossom

In the Northern Hemisphere we are overjoyed because you are springing back to lifefor earthday 2018 - spring leaves on tree

(phew – you are managing despite all the pollutants we have devised)

for earthday 2018 - rhododendron blossom
We adore the variety of plants world wide and have moved them around without too much consideration for the environmental consequences of mixing aliens with natives – there are a number of species on the UK’s Invasive Plant list and it keeps growing – as do they!
for earthday 2018 - English oak tree leaves in Spring
Our native English oaks (Quercus robur) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea), along with Pine, Ash and Chesnut, are suffering very damaging plant pests and diseases, most of which have entered from abroad.
for earthday 2018 - Oak tree collection at Kew Gardens)and Kew Gardens has a large grove of Oaks from all over the world – perhaps the non-native oaks will prove resistant and hybrids might be the ultimate answer? Even so, it would be as well to help keep as many pure species as possible, alive and well.

for earthday 2018 - Blackthorn blossom and tree bumblebeeBlackthorn is  a native shrub and flowering beautifully right now but the jury is still out on Tree bumblebees – Bombus hypnorum – 1. how did this species arrive here in 2001?  2. will it be a threat to native bees? So far it seems not but merely displays a penchant for birdnest boxes which are helping it thrive.

Even in decay, the earth wastes nothing and since re-cycling has been before our very eyes all this time, how and why did we not follow suit?
for earthday 2018 - lichen and moss on decaying twigs
So dear creator of Earth – thank you for such abundance. For far too long we have sat back and carried on regardless – now we come face to face with the ratio of our own affluence and the consequential consumption of resources which costs both of us dearly.for earthday 2018 - people enjoying trees by the Thames at Kew Gardens
Pledge: I know by my bins just how big a plastic footprint I have and much of that is involuntary packaging so I do opt for unpackaged/recyclable where possible but I rarely waste food and clothing has hung in my wardrobe despite fashions. I could ditch the dishwasher more often and electronic gizmos – and mostly I will try not to despair and think it’s all too late so what’s the use…

…For now it is sheer joy to walk the earth- and this year my care and concern is for our woodlands, by following a simple piece of advice to help stop the spread of diseases affecting native trees:

“If you brush the mud and leaves from your boots between visits to different parks, gardens and woodlands you can limit the spread of plant diseases between different places”. (The Forestry Commission)

for earthday 2018 - woman walking with trees
Trees need not walk the earth
For beauty or for bread;
Beauty will come to them
Where they stand.
Here among the children of the sap
Is no pride of ancestry:
A birch may wear no less the morning
Than an oak.
Here are no heirlooms
Save those of loveliness…
David Rosenthal

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